A good night’s sleep is an integral part of any camping trip and sets you up for the next day. Looking after your sleeping bag will maintain performance and extend its life.
- If you can't face washing your bag by hand, don’t use a top-loading washing machine (it may tear your bag apart) or strong soap or detergent.
- Use a large commercial tumble dryer as a domestic version is too small, may be too hot and could damage both fabric and filling.
- Don’t lift your bag from just one end when it’s wet as the weight of water may rip through stitching.
- Avoid leaving it out in strong sun for hours to dry as the UV rays may damage the shell fabric over time.
- Don’t dry clean synthetic fills as the process damages the insulation.
- Use a sleeping mat rather than laying your bag directly on the ground; dirt and damp will shorten its useful life.
- Stuff your sleeping bag into its aptly-named stuff sack foot first rather than rolling it up before trying to pack it away – it’s much easier and cuts out wear on the same places.
- Pull it out carefully when unpacking rather than tugging hard and risking damage to the stitching.
- Wear spare socks and a base layer top in your bag. As well as a little extra warmth, they will reduce dirt and sweat damage; alternatively, use a sheet liner.
- When feasible, air off your bag after each time you use it.
- Being compressed for long periods of time is likely to reduce the fill’s ability to loft fully, reducing its warmth, and encourage a musty smell. Hang it up in a dry area if you can or store it in a big breathable sack.